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Comment Re:Yet more skewed bullshit testing from AMD. (Score 1) 269

Please explain what you mean by better peripheral support?

24 PCI-e lanes between the CPU and the motherboard chipset, vs Intel's 16 in the same class, and therefore better able to saturate the throughput of modern high-bandwidth peripherals. Obviously not relevant for things like file transfers between NVMe and Gb ethernet because that's a DMA transfer where the data itself never touches the CPU, but helpful when the data requires actual processing prior to transfer.

Comment Re:Circling the drain (Score 1) 62

Shifting from stable except in specific ignition fuels to dangerous at all times lithium batteries that explode violently doesn't improve safety. Tesla was a failed business from the start.

As opposed to gasoline, which first catches fire, then explodes violently.

If Tesla was a failed business from the start, I presume you've shorted millions of dollars of TSLA. In which case, thank you for your money. Moron.

Comment Re:Yet more skewed bullshit testing from AMD. (Score 1) 269

I'd like to see a like-for-like benchmark between Ryzen and I7, such as single-thread at the same clock speeds.

Uh, they did. The Cinebench single-threaded results are in the slide. Right hand side. The 1800X is indistinguishable from Intel's 6900K at single-threaded performance. And Cinebench is compiled with Intel's compiler.

Undoubtedly there will be some benchmarks where Intel is still ahead, and yes we are waiting for third party testing. Still, from what we're seeing out of AMD, they're no longer down 10% in like-for-like comparisons. They're +/- 1% now. While being substantially cheaper. If the accompanying motherboards are competitive in features and build quality, Ryzen is a serious contender for all buyers, not just seriously budget-conscious buyers. It's no longer a matter of "oooh, I guess I can put up with not having the best to save some money." It's now "ooo, I can get exactly the same performance for half the price, and better peripheral support." (Well, I say now, but I mean March 2nd.)

AMD fanboys can place pre-orders without even a hint of remorse or compromise. The rest of us can hold off on any planned new system purchases until mid-March, when the folks at Tom's Hardware are done with their benchmarking. Odds are that unless you really really really have to buy the Intel system because you don't intend to use it for anything other than running that ONE piece of software that is an outlier in benchmarks (whatever it might be: 7-zip?), then you should be buying an AMD system if you can find a motherboard that meets your needs. Unless you really enjoy throwing away $600 for nothing.

Comment Re:Lifestyles of the Poor but Interesting (Score 1) 145

Things like getting married, starting a family, or even moving out from underneath Mom and Dads roof; all of these life events will likely cost more than the average "interesting" salary.

Many Chinese men will never have the opportunity without plural marriage. There's 27 million more men than women in China right now. By 2020, it's expected to be 35 million more men than women. As the linked article points out, that's the entire population of Canada. A country worth of young men will not be able to marry and start a family. It's 15% of their age cohort. Fifteen percent! That's insane. And they're already an economic force to be reckoned with. Singles Day sales in China dwarfs Black Friday sales in the US.

Gigging is one reaction to that massive demographic disparity. There's no need to look for the stability and independence that goes with a family because for tens of millions of Chinese men, there will be no family. The consequences of China's One Child policy are going to be with them (and possibly with us, the rest of the world) for the rest of the century, and no one really understands all of the ramifications. This has never happened before, in all of human history. The closest analog is perhaps the American West during the colonial period, but that gender disparity neither lasted as long as this one must nor involved anything like the sheer scale of the one in China. Gigging may be the least of the distortions that are coming.

Comment Re:EPB has 10Gb Fiber... Google is making excuses (Score 1) 107

Apparently, I still do not see the sarcasm must be some retarded wiring in my brain, but /sarcasm or some kind of hint at it usually helps.

You must be a little more autistic than most around here.

...so what ever you said I've already forgotten because I know that it's wrong.
I also intend to misquote you.

That wasn't just obvious sarcasm; that was heavy sarcasm. Do you really think he forgot everything you said instantly? And the last sentence is, for all intents and purposes, a </sarcasm> tag. Really, it was clearly sarcasm.

I didn't know that Chattanooga was doing so well. I'd heard about the rollout, and the whining and crying in court from AT&T and Comcast. I hadn't heard that AT&T and Comcast had ultimately been told to go to hell, though I applaud the court that decided that. And one of you swarm of ACs says it was all paid off in 4 years... That's kind of fantastic, for that much physical plant.

Is it just me, or is Google doing it wrong? I think Google is doing it wrong, 'cause their quoted billion dollars per city is nuts. In fact, I'd say that's the clearest evidence yet that Google has become a classic American corporation, in the mold of GM and IBM and Lockheed Martin. They really have jumped the shark, despite all their precious interview puzzle questions. And that's for pole-hung fiber, too! Not even paying for burial. That's outrageous. That's like Lockheed's price tag for launching a payload to orbit, when the real cost should be what SpaceX charges. That's an epic failure of management on Google's part, and Chattanooga is the proof.

Comment Re:how far down does land ownership go? (Score 1) 225

If I happen to own some land in CA that Musk wants to tunnel under/through, can he really do so without my permission or even knowledge?

Of course not. And of course he knows that. Tunneling under roads always requires the city/county/state's permission, depending on which authority is most directly responsible for the road in question, and in the case of important roads, like the interstate highways, it may require the permission of all three at once. Tunneling under private property requires either the mineral rights (in which case the owner of the surface isn't the owner of the depths anyway) or an easement from the surface owner. In the case of utilities, there's usually a public easement that has been forced upon the property owner by the government. It usually follows the road, but can also include any or all edges of everyone's property for things like cable television.

Slashdot is so goddamned weird sometimes. Elon Musk is in the rocket business and in the automobile business, two of the most highly regulated industries in the world. He can probably quote chapter and verse of the top 10 regulations he despises, plus name multiple examples of regulations he thinks are highly appropriate. The guy knows more about government regulations than any Slashdot reader who is not actually employed as a government regulator or as a compliance officer, because he's up to his eyeballs in them day in and day out. Plus, you know, he has money, which buys lawyers. I'm absolutely certain he has three whole law firms on retainer, one for SpaceX, one for Tesla, and one for himself personally because billionaire. And when you're already paying them, you might as well ask them questions, to get some value for your money.

So despite appearances, he's not going into this blindly. I'm sure the day he had a hole dug in his parking lot is also the day he had a lawyer down at city hall, filing the proper paperwork for a tunnel under the road to his parking structure. According to another poster, he's been trying to get a pedestrian bridge built for some time now, but for whatever reason, the city hasn't approved it. The interesting thing is it's a different department that approves tunnels. (Well, it is here, anyway. It probably is in Hawthorne too.) He's probably hoping to find a department of the city that will actually process the paperwork in a timely fashion.

Comment Re:Is it 1792? (Score 5, Insightful) 113

Glad to hear we're implementing that new-fangled 4th amendment I keep hearing about.

If only. It isn't possible to use a Stingray constitutionally, period. Here's the 4th Amendment, in its entirety:

Amendment IV

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

A Stingray sucks up data for hundreds, thousands, even tens of thousands of people if run in a metro area, and there is no warrant for that. A warrant must "particularly [describe] the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized" and every court in the land has ruled time and time again that "I want to seize something from 100 people" is not in any way "particular" enough, let alone "I want to seize something from 10,000 people".

The proposed law is unconstitutional, attempting to provide legal cover for unconstitutional activities. The only constitutional warrant names an individual or individual device or a very small group thereof and is issued to the phone company. The government does not get to pretend to be the phone company, and Hoover up the data for thousands of people at a time.[1]

I would question whether or not the current Supreme Court would uphold the Constitution and strike down this law if it passes, but it won't come before this court. The legal gyrations to prevent a challenge of the Stingrays with standing will continue indefinitely. We know this because the same stonewalling is already happening with respect to NSA spying on the Internet. Add to that the length of time required to run through the appeals process and actually reach the Supreme Court, and I doubt either Kennedy or Ginsberg will still be alive if and when that case finally gets to the Court.

Unless we are exceedingly fortunate, and this unconstitutional bill becomes law and suckers some prosecuting attorney into letting a Stingray-based case that is being challenged go forward, we're probably in for a decades of unconstitutional activity.

Not that it will be the first time...

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[1] No apologies for the pun. It was too appropriate.

Comment Re:Unless on the interstate system (Score 1) 243

Missouri had just switched from a Republican trifecta to Republican controlled state houses with a Democratic governor when it started and successfully completed a project to replace or repair 802 bridges in 4 years, with project planning beginning in late 2008 and construction starting in 2009 and ending in 2012, on budget and 14 months ahead of schedule. And then the Republicans cut the budget so now we can only handle 100 bridges a year, just barely keeping our heads above water, as about 100/year go into "poor" condition. We proved we're capable of twice that rate, if the budget is available. Admittedly, some of that money was Federal stimulus money after the Great Recession (we actually used it to repair infrastructure), but the rest of it was ours.

Missouri is nearly a Democratic state, but we got gerrymandered into appearing Republican with the 2000 census. Our state voting districts are so fucked up they have actual holes in them, with discontiguous pieces. We have one Republican and one Democratic Federal senator, a Democratic governor, and Republican state houses. At least one of the state houses would be Democratic if we had honest voting districts. It's not visible on the maps here but can be seen at the address by address level if you zoom in far enough in Google Maps. Our state Senate districts are fairly honest, since there's considerably fewer of them, but our state House districts are downright creative. Also, we'd be less Republican, but the Baptists are a force to be reckoned with, and they're stilling buying the anti-abortion bullshit the Republicans claim, but don't actually follow up on.

Geographically, we have a lot of hills, a lot of rivers, and a lot of streams. We have the largest river in the country, the Mississippi, making up the entirety of our eastern border and we have the Missouri river, the third largest river in the country that isn't mostly Canadian, after the Mississippi and the Ohio. Those two huge rivers have carved bluffs all over the place, many of which were subsequently abandoned as the river shifted. In short, we need a lot of bridges to get around. Replacing 800 in 4 years was significant, but we do still have a long ways to go. And we're not quite as politically backwards as we appear to be. By just a little bit.

Comment Re:Cheaper? (Score 1) 382

Can I just call up Tesla and GM to buy them at that price, or do I go through a reseller? Or is that the bottleneck for the price (a 500% markup seems excessive, though... especially for such a large bulk purchase). Let me know, please! I'm 100% serious here.

You can go to Tesla's website and order the Powerwall 2 with a credit card[1] on the spot, then dismount it from your wall after it's installed and stuff it into your RV. GM does not resell batteries in any form. Powerwall 2 is 39 cents per watt hour, not the 19 cents per watt hour they pay wholesale, but still, it's only a 100% markup, rather than 500%.

I've been told that it's cheaper to buy naked cells, though I don't know anywhere else you can get Panasonic cells for 39 cents per watt hour and you would lose Tesla's sophisticated power pack cooling, charging, and discharging hardware and software. (Liquid cooling is integrated.) I presume you don't intend to use the batteries for motive power, in which case a Powerwall 2 is just what you need. You might even be able to get the electrician to install it directly into your RV for you.

It's more than double the capacity you were planning on, but it's a turnkey solution. I hear modern RVs all have 120V appliances now, so it's literally a drop-in installation, though exactly what gets wired where might be a little complex if you have a fueled generator as well as the external power connection. The electrician would remove the existing inverter, since the Powerwall 2 has its own. It's 44" x 29" x 5.5" and is designed to be installed vertically. A horizontal installation might work, but might void the 10 year warranty (And might not. You'd have to ask). It can peak at nearly 60 amps output and sustain 40 amps, so it should have no trouble starting up and running the typical RV air conditioning system without letting the voltage sag to anything electronic, even without external power. It's beefier than the typical RV battery system, which tends to top out at 30 amps.

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[1] And holy crap, how did Slashdot not notice that change? There's a Powerwall 2 now (a nice clean rectangle, instead of the goofy truncated oval thing) and it's 14 kWh for $5500, with trivial credit card ordering, instead of having to call them. Much friendlier than the old way.

Comment Re:Human nature and fission (Score 1) 382

People are afraid of nuclear fission whether or not those fears are justified. That is human nature and it is unlikely to change.

Nonsense. It's not even remotely human nature, and it was changed, forcibly. Humanity's fear, and in particular Americans' fear of nuclear power is one of the great propaganda victories of the 20th Century.

Immediately after the end of World War II, the Greatest Generation was absolutely convinced that they were entering the Atomic Age and that it was going to be the best thing since sliced bread. Science fiction was absolutely saturated with atomic everything, and even though it was a disrespected fringe literature at the time, that didn't stop its enthusiasm from leaking over into the rest of the world. To the point where "atomic" became synonymous with "good", "modern", and "the future", slapped on advertising copy as a matter of course, in much the same way as "green" is today. The phrase "too cheap to meter" originated in 1954, and though the speaker was referring to fusion power, the phrase stuck, and is still applied today, to both fission and fusion. (Sarcastically, nowadays, but it persists nonetheless.) The future was bright, and it was going to be nuclear powered.

Then Green Peace set themselves against it. They spent the '60s and '70s telling the world how dangerous nuclear power was, and when the Three Mile Island accident happened in 1979, they were quick to capitalize on it, despite there being zero injuries or deaths caused by it right up through the present day. They spent the next seven years hammering on that accident, trying to convince the world how scary nuclear power was. And they were succeeding. If the propaganda had gone the other way, Three Mile Island would have been a great victory for nuclear power. Even with a partial core meltdown, no one was injured. The "Big Scary Thing" had happened, and it wasn't scary at all. Except people were being told that it was scary, and after a generation of it being hammered on, it was starting to stick.

Then in 1986, the Chernobyl disaster happened, the greatest gift to anti-nuclear forces since the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. And still, it could have gone the other way. The Nixon era attempt at détente had withered and the USSR was again the Great Enemy of America. (The USSR didn't disintegrate until the tail end of 1991.) Chernobyl could have been spun as a Soviet screwup, proof of the inherent inferiority of the Soviet system and indeed, it was used for that purpose, but by far the loudest message hitched to that disaster was "nuclear bad". And it worked.

It took two generations of intense propaganda and legal obstructionism, but Green Peace won. They had completely reversed the attitude towards nuclear power of an entire continent. Meanwhile, between 1946 and 1989, 4208 people, including 116 children, died in coal mining accidents and disasters around the world, while just 31 people died as a direct result of Chernobyl. (The count of indirect deaths of both coal burning and the Chernobyl disaster are violently disputed, so I'll leave them aside, saying only that both are much bigger than the direct deaths.) Human nature should have been terrified of coal by the end of the 20th Century, because it had indisputably and directly killed so many. Human nature is to be scared of the things we're told to be scared off, and not the things that are actually numerically scary.[1]

The fear of nuclear power is many things, but it's anything but natural.

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[1] The number of motor vehicle deaths in the US peaked in 1972, at 54,589. Modern vehicles really are a good deal safer than they once were. Still dangerous as hell. But safer.

Comment Re: "What if?" (Score 1) 118

Check your server logs. Ours get automated breach attempts thousands of times a day from countries all over the world. Usual tests are for wordpress bugs and ssh with many usernames and passwords.

The thousands of ssh login attempts I've been seeing have lately been exclusively for root. I'm guessing there's some IOT thing that allows root logins.

Meanwhile my server has never allowed a root login over ssh, in 18 years. I wish they'd use nmap to fingerprint my box and then go away, knowing it won't let them in no matter how hard they try.

Comment Re:A more basic question (Score 1) 722

Prosperity is the wrong goal, the correct goal is making sure everybody has clean air to breath, healthy food to eat, clean water to drink

That's pretty much the fundamental definition of prosperity... plus a roof to keep the rain off.

Why is your ridiculous alarmism being modded up, not once but twice? Especially when it's completely self-contradictory. Reality on the ground is, the more prosperous a country is, the lower its population growth. The most prosperous countries are experiencing a population decline, not growth. Nobody is certain why this is (but the education of women and the availability of prophylactics seems to be the leading guesses), but regardless, it's true.

So for people who believe that humans are the scariest things in the ecosystem, prosperity should be the goal. It's the one and only thing, in all of recorded history, that has caused birth rates to drop below the replacement rate. Not even world wars could do that. If you truly believe there are too many people, the only thing that can fix that is prosperity. (Or a glacial period in an Ice Age. Those work too.)

Comment Re:Is it really that hard? (Score 1) 156

Naively scale it to do 270x the work, that's eating 3.2 cubic meters of probe volume in order to keep the inside down to a blazing 100*C. Our 2-meter-diameter probe, with 250mm of aerogel shell, only has 1.7 cubic meters of internal volume.

Uh, the radiator is bolted to the outside of the sphere. The components on the inside are considerably smaller than the radiator on the outside. Think CPU water cooling rig. The water block is quite small in volume compared to the radiator.

You neglected the really useful calculation: the Carnot efficiency. Let's see if there's a little more room on the back of the envelope.

Carnot efficiency is given by: (TH-TC)/TH*100% so for Venus at 470K and room temperature at 298K, we get an efficiency of 36%. So in order to reject, say, 600 watts of heat from the interior of the probe (your 500W of ambient leakage plus 100W of equipment), our refrigerator is going to suck up somewhere north of 1.7kW of power. (It will be more, because Carnot efficiency is the theoretical perfect efficiency, which can't actually be built.) How close we can get to the ideal depends quite heavily on the properties of the working fluid and the pressures inside the system. Outrageous by space probe standards, but not actually completely bonkers.

Using the same General Purpose Heat Source modules used in the Curiosity rover, we'll need 111 modules, totaling 67kg of plutonium-238. NASA has 35kg left for civil use (and an unspecified amount earmarked for military use (classified)). Houston, we have a problem...

Running the numbers in a reverse Rankine Cycle to calculate a more practical efficiency is left as an exercise for the reader.

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